Carbon Gold works with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) in Belize. The TCGA represents 1200 small-scale organic farmers in the region who supply Green & Black’s. The Cadbury Foundation supported the initial stage of this project in 2008.
We supplied inexpensive kilns that facilitate clean and efficient production of biochar. The farmers planted trees with the biochar and instead of taking seven-years to produce, they began yielding cacao pods after four-years.
Following this success the UNDP supported an expansion of this project in 2012, the first of its kind to receive UNDP support. The project fulfills their objectives to reduce land degradation, increase farmer income and diminish rural-to-urban migration.
The project provides the TCGA farmers with a financial incentive to process their agricultural waste – generated from cacao and shade tree prunings - to biochar.
The biochar is then mixed with locally sourced nutrients and applied back to the soil. Both pruning the cacao trees and applying biochar-based fertiliser increases the health and yield of the plants.
Carbon Gold provides training to the farmers to construct and operate small-scale biochar units. The project boosts cacao farmers’ incomes, improves soil fertility and captures carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.